Doing Your Best isn’t Good Enough

This is something I’ve been noticing about a lot of people these days, they’d rather complain and want handouts before they’d take their own two hands and work for what it is they feel they deserve. Everyone feels entitled to some reward or handout because or skin color, gender, religion…. the Oppression Olympics has gotten even more out of hand than I predicted.

People seem to be stuck on this concept, a grade school adage taught to them by teachers and cartoons and movies, of “Doing your best”.

“All you have to do is work hard and do your best and you’ll succeed!”
“You’ll never know what happens if you don’t try your best!”
“It’s ok that you didn’t win, you tried your best.”

Doing your best is an elementary level of satisfaction that makes the person believe that it isn’t possible to go farther, that the situation is out of control. It is a good way to release all self accountability from the person, to the world (or nature or destiny or whatever they want to call it) but in the end it is detrimental.

Not being able to acknowledge, nor take the blame for situations will leave you thinking that no matter how much effort you put in, that ‘fate’ was the reason that you were unsuccessful. This is largely untrue.

The sad fact of the matter is that people are content with mediocrity and being average in today’s world.

All of these lead people to think that failure is acceptable as long as you put forth the utmost effort into completing your goals…. there are just two things that are the issue with this:

  1. Failure is not acceptable, it is tolerable (there is a difference).
  2. “Doing your best” is subjective and a great way to shift accountability for your failures away from yourself.

When it comes to failing at life, it is something to be expected. No one’s life is perfect, no one will have things going exactly the way that want them to forever, in fact I’m pretty sure most people’s lives either work like a roller coaster, or an erratic stock.

The thing about failure isn’t so much how it makes you feel, but how you react to it. When life knocks you down you can either lay on the ground crying and whining, or you can pick yourself back up and go right back at it.

The most successful people in life are the ones who learned how to turn their failures into successes – to change a loss into either a lesson that can guide them for the future, or a situation that can be turned around.

When it comes to the topic of “Doing your best” however, failure is as unacceptable as it is to “just do enough to get the job done”.

When it comes to the workplace, the boss respects the worker most who looks for more work to do after his job is done, never pausing or stopping just because “I finished all my work.”

Such is the way of life. You must always try to go above and beyond what you felt were the limits of your abilities and talents, being content with being/doing “good enough” is a way to live an average lifestyle.

People believe they spend their lives “doing their best” and think fate is keeping them from progressing, when actually it’s the limits they have placed on themselves and their body.

The reality of “your best” is that your best yesterday and your best today are completely different, and they vary from person to person. There will always be skills you can improve, just like there may be some where it is much harder to better yourself at – but you’ll never know until you attempt to push yourself past your limits.

You think Boxers like Ed Latimore get ahead, amassing an undefeated 13-0 record by simply “doing their best?”
You think Billionaires got to where they’re at by going “I did my best” after they leave every business meeting?
You think Politicians got to their officers by losing in a race once and going “Well I did my best, better luck next time”?

No, people have to work, and go above and beyond if they want to succeed more than the average person.

The average person is content with living a life of mediocrity and being average as long as they feel like they “fit in” with other ‘normal’ people.

I don’t want to fit in, I want to stand out.
I don’t want to be living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to pay for everything from rent to food.
I don’t want to be brooding and miserable, forever regretting my past and how much harder I could have worked to change it.

It’s good that I’ve come to this realization early in my life so I can stay on the right track, but it’s not too ate for anyone. Being ‘content’ with life and what you do in it will lead you to a life of being average.

“Doing your best” will lead you to fall to the actual best, the one going beyond the requirements of the task.

People without the confidence to believe that they can actually do and be more than they are, never will be.

One who spends a lot of time complaining about what life hasn’t given him will receive nothing, one who uses it as motivation to get what they feel they deserve from life will be capable of anything.

When you think of life as “I did my best, I just didn’t do good enough” you limit yourself into a realm of pity and self loathing. Instead of dwelling on how you “weren’t good enough” for the current task, fill your mind with the joys of you completed the task the next time.

You can’t change the past, only the future – so does it make more sense to dwell on what happened in the past, or prepare for the future and what will happen while living it?

You’ve been told all your life to “Do your best, that’s good enough” but the people who “do their best” are usually stuck in line behind those who went above and beyond the requirements.

You’ll never go farther in life if you keep your mind grounded in the same spot forever. You can stand in the same spot, letting the world go past you while you find simple pleasures in the fact that you “Did your best,” or you can break the shackles and limits you have placed on your own self, and go beyond the limits of what you even thought you could do.

When’s the last time someone let you off with the excuse “you did your best” after you failed to accomplish something? That person probably wasn’t thinking very highly of you in the first place.

People who think highly of you aren’t concerned nor satisfied with your best, they want to see you test and push past the limits of what you can do. They want you to enter into the realm of improvement and mastery, they want to always see you pushing to do better and actually doing so.

Those people who are satisfied with you “Doing your best” likely didn’t expect you to improve anyway, they were just entertained watching you put in the effort.

The key to life is improvement. Financially, Physically, Mentally – everyone wants to constantly improve and get better to better adapt themselves to the world around us. Those 3 things correlate to Money, Strength & Influence respectively, 3 things that pretty much everyone has a lust and desire for.

However, these are 3 things you will never accumulate much of by simply “doing your best” and “doing just good enough to get the work done”.

Life is a constant cycle of improvement, and once you stop that cycle under the guise of “I can’t get any better” or “I’m doing my best,” that cycle will stop. It’s akin to a hamster running its course on the wheel – as soon as you slow down and lose your momentum, the hamster and the wheel stop and it’s that much harder to get the momentum going again.

Once you have a good and steady momentum going in your life, keep it going by pushing yourself and always doing more to become more.

Always doing better so that you can become better.

Always in Control of your life and the events surrounding it.